“Say Something Nice”

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Good for the custard shop manager. It’s like Biden is shocked the guy isn’t awed and honored by his very presence. We need to be less deferential to politicians. And yes, that goes for both sides. I praised Jim Webb when he refused to shake Bush’s hand, too.

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51 Responses to ““Say Something Nice””

  1. #1 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “We need to be less deferential to politicians.”

    I’ll happily oblige.

    Fuck anyone who has ever held elective office.

    There. Lese majeste lives.

  2. #2 |  Brooks | 

    God I wish I had a chance to go toe to toe with one of these guys. I think I would have told Biden to go fuck himself, taken his cone away from him, and thrown him out of my shop.

  3. #3 |  Sic semper tyrannis | 

    Oh, I’m just kidding too.

  4. #4 |  anarch | 

    What could be nicer than lower taxes?

  5. #5 |  jppatter | 

    So I guess “something nice” would be something like “Please take more of my money under threat of imprisonment and please make it harder and harder to run a business”? Is that what Biden would consider “nice”? Jackass

  6. #6 |  fish | 

    Joe Biden should be in a Rhode Island bowling alley sliding me my fucking rent-a-shoes and should be fucking grateful for it!

    If it weren’t for politics and gullible Northeasterners he would have starved to death long ago!

  7. #7 |  fish | 

    Or Delaware….one of the cluster of county sized states that routinely fucks up the nation!

  8. #8 |  Mattocracy | 

    There is nothing smart ass about wanting the government to steal less from you. Fucking dick.

  9. #9 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    I do wonder what the shop owner was thinking when he agreed to hold a campaign event for Russ Feingold at his shop if he thinks taxes are too high.

  10. #10 |  EH | 

    Biden should have told him to quit using pithy comments. You think nobody ever says they want lower taxes? Shopkeeper blew it, have an opinion on something that matters more than “Derp, give me more moneys!”

  11. #11 |  Chris Berez | 

    But he did say something nice. He said, “Lower our taxes and we’ll call it even” when he could have just as easily said, “Listen you money-grubbing pontificating piece of shit, you’re killing my business with taxes to cover unsustainable entitlements and you’re killing me in my home life as well by taking even more from my personal income. I’m glad you’re here for a photo op, but since not everyone gets to have the VP waltz into their shop, I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you what I feel. You got me, jackass?”

    Instead he said it in a friendly joking way.

    Personally, I think Biden should get the Cheney treatment: “Hey Mr. Biden: go fuck yourself!”

  12. #12 |  ClassAction | 

    EH #10:

    I think you’ve got some basic concepts confused. The manager isn’t asking for Biden, or the government, to give him more money. He’s just asking that the government, you know, stop stealing so much of it.

    Of course, we all know that it’s crass and low-class for wealthy custard store managers to ask that they be able to keep a ltitle more of their hard-earned money. It’s totally unlike when CEOs of large investment corporations or automobile companies with multi-million dollar salary and benefits packages ask for enormous government handouts. That’s classy.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #10 EH

    Biden should have told him to quit using pithy comments.

    Biden needs to learn to have a little more respect for his employer.

  14. #14 |  freedomfan | 

    EH,

    Biden should have told him to quit using pithy comments. You think nobody ever says they want lower taxes? Shopkeeper blew it, have an opinion on something that matters more than “Derp, give me more moneys!”

    Except that the shop owner did state an opinion on something that matters and he explicitly turned down the “Derp, give me more moneys!” approach earlier when Biden offered to pay for his cone and the shop owner said it was on the house. He was very clearly not looking for a handout. “Lower our taxes” is a short way to encapsulate lots of policy objectives, most of which I’d agree with. I’d have preferred “Stop spending so much money and think about where it comes from”, but the shop owner has that beat for pithy.

    More importantly, wanting to keep more of your own money (which is what lowering taxes does) is not even vaguely the same as saying “give me money”. Except maybe to people who assume that it’s all the government’s money and they are just magnanimous enough to “give” us some of it.

  15. #15 |  BillC | 

    But the administration Biden works for did lower this guy’s taxes. Biden should have just said, “I already did.”

  16. #16 |  Hugh Aldrege | 

    I’d like to hear a little more about the JOURNOLIST scandal and if the author is a member. What I gathered is that there were many fake libertarians over at REASON???

  17. #17 |  Radley Balko | 

    I’d like to hear a little more about the JOURNOLIST scandal and if the author is a member. What I gathered is that there were many fake libertarians over at REASON???

    One = “many” !

    And Dave (I think) would call himself a left libertarian. He has said that he voted for Ron Paul.

    Oh, and no, I was never a member of JOURNOLIST. But I have sent many an untoward email in my life.

  18. #18 |  Aresen | 

    Meh.

    I would prefer just to meet Joe Bite-me and his entourage at the door and say “Sorry, your kind is not welcome here.”

  19. #19 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    There is no authority over you except yourself. Maybe that’ll help break the spell for some.

  20. #20 |  Hugh Aldrege | 

    Well I kinda think that being a left-libertarian is bull shit, and sort of an excuse rather than a political position. It’s clear by his emails, he hated conservatives, and liked liberals. I really have no problem with someone’s positions, as long as they are honest about them, and I have had a sinking feeling for the last couple of years that Reason mag is pushing a left leaning agenda. Nobody really listens to liberal magazines (TIME, NEWSWEEK) anymore so let’s try to ram it home under the guise of libertarianism. Also I believe the author of this site has described himself as a left-libertarian, and if he wasn’t on the JOUROLIST, he wanted to be.

  21. #21 |  Mark R. | 

    Yeah Biden seems like a total jerk. Just got handed a free ice cream cone, shopkeep makes a pretty funny joke and Biden just straight up insults him.

    Way classy. Don’t we just fire someone for being boorish to the Vice-President. Where’s the reciprocity?

  22. #22 |  B8ovin | 

    Saying “Lower our taxes” is like saying, “We need to stop being dependent on foreign oil.” It is meaningless sloganeering if not accompanied by some tangible alternative ideas. It’s a simple rhetorical complaint that anyone can make, and was rejoined with a simple rhetorical response that just about everyone makes. If you’re arguing that deference to a politician is justified but that a politician should show deference when confronted by such a silly statement I’d like to know your reasoning.

  23. #23 |  ClassAction | 

    #22

    If Joe Biden were interested in “tangible alternative ideas” (like SPENDING LESS maybe?) he could have asked instead of blowing the guy off and being an asshole. He’s just pissy the hoi polloi got all up in his cheap photo op. That’s what happens when you hang out with “real Americans.” Gosh, and here I thought that “Scranton Joe” was just a normal guy like you and me!

  24. #24 |  zendingo | 

    If you’re arguing that deference to a politician is justified but that a politician should show deference when confronted by such a silly statement I’d like to know your reasoning.

    i’d say the difference is that one of the two in this exchange isn’t pandering for votes.

  25. #25 |  EH | 

    Woops, didn’t mean to cause a freakout. You have to admit that “more money” is the motivator, I mean come on. Why doesn’t anybody ever talk about spending tax money better, so everybody’s OK with whatever level of spending/taxes/what have you is in place at that time. Nobody ever asserts that taxes should be given up on (save VAT-type proponents), but the rhetoric is always a product of a simplistic tug-of-war. “Derp, me more moneys!” “Derp, save the babies!” it’s the same cycle over and over. Yawn. I don’t know from Biden, but he seems cynical enough to cast off a comment. He was in a fraternity, after all. He’s not going to let such insubordination go unchallenged.

    I don’t know how else it could have played out, though. I think those opportunities (campaign and otherwise) are chosen for their predictability.

  26. #26 |  AFF | 

    I hope if I ever get a VP’s ear, I come up with something better to say than “I like mah money”, or “the grass is green”

    I agree that we don’t need to be automatically differential to our politicians, but shopkeeper is a fucking idiot

  27. #27 |  Radley Balko | 

    I agree that we don’t need to be automatically differential to our politicians, but shopkeeper is a fucking idiot.

    Yeah, what an moronic, idiot blue-collar service worker. Selfish bastard wanting to keep more of his own money, not having something more eloquent to say when the VP randomly stops by than that he feels like he’s overtaxed. What a fool!

  28. #28 |  Max | 

    To be fair, Biden did apologize and say he was just joking (which the manager mentioned). The manager also said he seemed like a decent guy and didn’t mean it in an asshole-ish way. Yea, Biden might have been covering for something he blurted out and yeah, the manager might have been trying to be “cool” about it, but whatever.

    And, if you won’t accept that explanation, come on, it’s Joe Biden. Is anyone really surprised that he had a foot-in-mouth moment? :-p

  29. #29 |  Radley Balko | 

    If you’re arguing that deference to a politician is justified but that a politician should show deference when confronted by such a silly statement I’d like to know your reasoning.

    How about an understanding of who is the employer in this encounter, and who is the employee?

  30. #30 |  Radley Balko | 

    Seriously, “Hugh” (or one of your other dozens of handles), why do you keep coming back to this site?

    You keep making the same point, over and over. I get it. You think I’m a secretly gay, pot-smoking liberal disguising himself as a libertarian. So if I make you so angry, why do you keep reading and posting? We do the same routine over and over. You get a new IP address, post some vaguely innocuous comments. I let them pass. You then get progressively more insulting until I ban you. Then we do it all again.

    Why not stop wasting both of our time and go find a site more to your liking?

  31. #31 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    “God I wish I had a chance to go toe to toe with one of these guys. I think I would have told Biden to go fuck himself, taken his cone away from him, and thrown him out of my shop.”

    I’d gladly have done the same. But I would NOT offer a free cone to the IRS auditors who would be on my doorstep the next morning. Nor the health inspectors, the business license bureau, OSHA….

  32. #32 |  John Wilburn | 

    “How about an understanding of who is the employer in this encounter, and who is the employee?”

    That, in a nutshell, is the problem, Radley. These people think they’re in charge, because we citizens use the term, “The Government,” when referring to them.

    We should use the term “Civil SERVICE” when referring to the entity as a whole, and “Civil SERVANTS” when referring to the lackeys it employs…

    We should also hold these lackeys to the same performance standards (and consequences) that private industry employees are held to, whether the lackey is hired, appointed or elected…

  33. #33 |  BSK | 

    John Wilburn-

    The problem is, we don’t. We continually elect people who have demonstrated gross incompetence and other characteristics that would get most any employee fired, if not jailed. And I’m not just talking about people who hold positions we don’t like. There is never going to be a politician whose views are loved by all. But as long as we refuse to vote out the crappy ones, who do we have to blame?

  34. #34 |  Mattocracy | 

    I’m not sure what people expect someone to say when given 5 seconds to talk to the VP. “Derp, he should have discussed alternative strategies to the current administrations tax and spend policies in detail with charts and graphs and a power point presentation.”

    I guess the shop manager could have said, “you and your boss could actually end the wars you said you were going to” or “stop bailing out big business and asking me to pay for it” or “balance the budget like the rest of us little people have to”, but I think “tax us less” was a pretty good option.

    It’s populist, it’s got him some free press, it’s something that most Americans will agree with, and (bonus) the VP responded by being an indignit ass which gets him even more free media attention. He even said nice thing about Biden afterwards giving him the total high ground. Dude is pretty smart and anyone thinking otherwise is the real idiot.

    There is a difference between asking for more money, and asking not to have so much taken from you you. So he isn’t asking for more “Derp” money like a government agency does.

  35. #35 |  RWW | 

    That, in a nutshell, is the problem, Radley. These people think they’re in charge, because we citizens use the term, “The Government,” when referring to them.

    The problem is that people use phrases like “we citizens,” and pretend that stealing money from people like me to hire people like Biden will somehow make Biden my employee.

  36. #36 |  TDR | 

    You cynical bastards. I’m tired of the non sequitir. Just because you think all taxation is theft doesn’t mean you can’t also ask that elected officials (TM) be asked to show humility and comply with the facade that they work for “the people.”

  37. #37 |  Sean L. | 

    “We should use the term “Civil SERVICE” when referring to the entity as a whole, and “Civil SERVANTS” when referring to the lackeys it employs…”

    Nah, that’s too honorable for them. Only if you eliminate their salary would they truly be civil servants. (Which would be a step in the right direction.)

  38. #38 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    And Dave (I think) would call himself a left libertarian.

    Given his support for the health care reform bill (to the point that he apparently felt it was his job to coordinate new coverage specifically to increase it’s likelihood of passing), I’m not sure how he can credibly qualify as a libertarian, left, right or otherwise. Much like various “right-libertarians” who claim to support small government while backing things like indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without charge (Eric Dondero, I’m looking at you), there is a point where if you let the word “libertarian” bend that far it becomes essentially meaningless.

  39. #39 |  RWW | 

    Just because you think all taxation is theft…

    It’s not really a matter of opinion; it’s a matter of applying a widely-accepted definition impartially.

    …doesn’t mean you can’t also ask that elected officials (TM) be asked to show humility and comply with the facade that they work for “the people.”

    Hey, I’m completely in favor of politicians trying to be humble servants. But I also understand why they’re not. And it’s not a non sequitur.

  40. #40 |  D. Mason | 

    Wow, just wow. Talk about blowing something out of proportion. What I saw there was really some awkward back and forth between two natural born smart-asses. We’ll never know if it was awkward because of the crowd or because of the disparity in “station” – no reason to assume. I know politicians are a different breed but he was a real human boy once – some of his personality is bound to still be in there somewhere.

  41. #41 |  SusanK | 

    How rude of the manager. Here’s the VP, trying to get a nice photo op and the store manager has to ruin it with politics! He should really know his place better than that.

  42. #42 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #34 | Mattocracy — “I’m not sure what people expect someone to say when given 5 seconds to talk to the VP.”

    I would use my five seconds to vomit on his shoes.

  43. #43 |  albatross | 

    You are suddenly and inexplicably given one chance to say something memorable to a member of the planet’s power elite, with the media watching. You get maybe one or two sentences, not a 50 page essay on the philosophical underpinnings of anarchism or how A is A leads logically to English common law and constitutional democracy. What do you say?

    In that format, your choices are all necessarily more-or-less slogans: Bring the troops home! Cut our taxes! Close Guantanamo! Let us alone! National healthcare now! Build a border fence! Nuke their ass and take their gas! Nationalize BP! Save the Earth! Keep your laws off my body! End corporate welfare! Drill baby drill!

    Someone stating any of these slogans could easily range anywhere from an obvious nut to a deep and well-informed thinker, with the expectation somewhere on the uninformed-but-well-meaning part of the distribution. The powerful guy will never know, nor will the media–neither has the interest or inclination to follow up on your reasoning, both because they figure they’re smarter than you[1] and because you have no power with which to make your opinions, smart or dumb, have weight.

    [1] This is true even if you’re, say, a doctor or engineer, even though the average journalist could no more get through medical school or a serious engineering program than he could flap his arms and fly.

  44. #44 |  Phil Smith | 

    And then it hit me! Biden asked for “ice cream” when in fact it was a custard shop! He was tricked! They told him he was visiting Joe the Ice Cream Shop owner, not Sam the Custard Shop Owner! The whole thing was a setup!

  45. #45 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    Boy, must be a slow day for the righteous anger biz.

  46. #46 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “secretly” gay?

  47. #47 |  AFF | 

    “I agree that we don’t need to be automatically differential to our politicians, but shopkeeper is a fucking idiot.

    Yeah, what an moronic, idiot blue-collar service worker. Selfish bastard wanting to keep more of his own money, not having something more eloquent to say when the VP randomly stops by than that he feels like he’s overtaxed. What a fool!”

    Wow! My very first comment on this blog (er, maybe second) and I got the attention of the Grande Poobaw himself! I feel so special.

    I stand by my post. “Tax me less” is about the dumbest fucking thing a person to a politician, with the exception of “tax me more”.

    I’m having a hard time figuring why you even posted the video, perhaps because I thought you were capable of reasoned analysis of complex issues and not automatically party to monosyllabic meaningless slogans.

    Stick to ganga and puppies Dude. Libertarians don’t do government well.

  48. #48 |  John Wilburn | 

    @AFF

    “Libertarians don’t do government well.”

    OK…

    Name someone who does, “do government well.”

    We’re waiting…

  49. #49 |  RWW | 

    What’s ganga?

  50. #50 |  EH | 

    Someone stating any of these slogans could easily range anywhere from an obvious nut to a deep and well-informed thinker, with the expectation somewhere on the uninformed-but-well-meaning part of the distribution. The powerful guy will never know, nor will the media–neither has the interest or inclination to follow up on your reasoning, both because they figure they’re smarter than you[1] and because you have no power with which to make your opinions, smart or dumb, have weight.,

    This is the thing. The guy basically had an opportunity to get the nation talking. The nation already talks about “derp, taxes” all. the. time. So in that way, it was just more noise and grist for the mill. You’re all right, I can’t fault the guy and I probably would have been equally inane in his shoes. However, he did know that it was a Russ Feingold shindig, not the R’s favorite stud, so I’m sure his mind was in the right place anyway. But what do you think would have happened if he asked, “how many campaign promises has the president broken so far?” Actually that would probably be too many syllables, giving Biden an out with an “Alright, good to see you” and he moves on. It’s an interesting thought experiment.

    AFF@47: Dude, you’re doing the same thing you deride ice cream guy for doing: squandering a moment of engagement. Way to go.

  51. #51 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #48 | John Wilburn — “Name someone who does, “do government well.””

    Eliot Spitzer’s call girl?

    Monica Lewinsky?

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